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Something that might drastically increase my productivity.... · 9:47pm May 22nd, 2013

Amazon Kindle to pay for Fanfiction?

May 22, 2013-Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group's Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to both the rights holders of the Worlds and the author. The standard author's royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price-rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price-and royalties will be paid monthly.

In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works-between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these short stories-typically priced under one dollar-Amazon will pay the royalties for the World's rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.

...how are we suppose to feel about this?

Because I'm conflicted.

What are your takes?

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Comments ( 18 )

Honestly, I'd do it.

However, right now the series to write for are limited, so it may be a while before this program includes series we may be familiar with. And then Hasbro has to give the OK for this to even happen for all us pony fans.

But yeah, really interesting development here. I wonder what the quality control will be like.

Edit: I wonder if the terms will prevent people from posting on other sites and/or devices. We get all our fanfiction here for free, so paying for it may deter some potential readers.

No, I'm not going to pay to read fanfiction.

I mean it's a neat idea and it sounds like a good way for hobby writers to get a foot in the door to becoming paid writers and to get original works published. However, I am not going to pay to read fanfiction. Sorry, but this is a hobby and I can barely afford things as it is.

yeah, i love some of these stories, but wouldn't even pay 10 cents for them. If I were to pay for a story, it would have to be long, complete, and rated before i even considered it. Having these sporadic releases that i simply live with here wouldn't work for me if I were paying for it.

Honestly... I kinda cringe at it. Some of us are good. Really good.

... on the other hoof, some of us just have rabid fanbases, but there's no talent there. And there's nothing saying that a company you're crossing over with can't slap you with a C&D later on if they decide this isn't working out, too.

This is brilliant. Capitalism FTW.

It wont't work for marketing and toy-based licenses, though. There is no way that marketers would want control of their brands to go to their audiences like this.

Otherwise, though, I think that this is a great platform for people to make money on "dead" shows. I might not "pay money for fanfiction", but I'd pay big time money for "supplementary materials" for Firefly, Gargoyles, etc. Especially if the original author was on board.

How much bigger (and more well-known) would the Star Wars expanded universe be if such a service had existed 10 years ago?

There is no chance, not in a billion years, that this agreement will EVER apply to Ponyfic.

I find it difficult to believe that Amazon will do this without the ability to sc--w the writers over. That seems to be their goal in any commercial authoring endeavor.

It might be a great way for those authors who see fanfiction as a stepping stone to get into "real" fiction.
I don't think I would ever use this neither as an author nor as a reader. I read this as a way of recreation, to relax and I write and edit to have fun. If you add money to the equation it wouldn't feel like fun anymore.

I, too, am conflicted. I can think of quite a few fics that I would pay actual money to buy, hold, and carry with me. This would be a good way for good writers to actually get paid. Plus, perhaps, companies will actually begin to endorse fan fiction, perhaps selecting the best of the best to, dare I say it, ascend to canon?

On the other hand, it's obviously corporations trying to get a piece of the pie. I have a bad feeling if something like this suddenly becomes the *only* way you can spread fanfiction on this subject. Hasbo in particular has been spreading its greed tentacles around lately, so I fear for our future. Plus, sturgeons law applies. Just grab a few random stories, completely at random, and ask yourself "Would I pay for this?" Probably not. Either way, I don't think much good can come from this.

Well, there are more than a few authors that I wouldn't mind putting some money towards. Since the IP does belong to Hasbro, they do deserve some cut of the action, as would Amazon for setting up the whole party and running the servers and what not.

The real sticking points would be in the details; how much of a cut does each party get, where is the price point set, and who gets to set it? Once you've got that out of the way, you still have to work out a nice setup for the distribution itself. Who publishes? Everyone? Do we got some sort of professional pre-reading to keep out the endless tide of self-inserts self-inserting into bestpone that we see here? How do people even look over the assembled library once you've got that put together?

It's an interesting idea, but it really comes down to implementation.

I'd still download them for free :<

As a writer, I'd be all over this. As a reader, I wouldn't ever use it. There's more than enough good free fan fiction than I have time to read already.

I have three responses:
1) The first try always collapses, this is going to fail hard - probably partly from a lack of interest by the public (half your target audience won't know about it, and the other half will be accustomed to getting it for free).
...check back in five years and a someone will probably have a working model of this idea in practice... but it won't be these guys (cough, *Myspace*, cough wheeze)

2) Investors ruin everything. Bringing money into the equation means Amazon is going to have a stake in how well the fics sell financially, which means reviewing submitted fiction... by the same excellent and insightful review process that allows so many good books and movies to be approved for the general viewing audience:trixieshiftright: (sarcasm):trixieshiftleft:

3) Not only that, if they're selling the product, they're going to start cracking down on 'unlicensed' fan fiction - they'll have to or the stories will never sell.

I have no opinion on whether anyone should or should not participate - because it's already going to happen, the corporations see a new market and nothing and nopony will stop them at this point.


I like the idea. You can get paid for something you enjoy doing. i wouldn't put SiS up there though if i write something else stand alone i would go for it. Sadly i am not familier with any of the series they have listed so far.

Conflicted on this one. It's not a *bad* idea as such, but if it works things are going to get really... weird. If there's enough profit in it, we'll have IP owners start to 'lean' on sites like this one just to get the authors to transfer their stories to the service instead.

Basically the corporate logic will run: If we can make money off of fanfiction, then any fanfiction that we *don't* make money off of is a loss of revenue. That means they're stealing from us!

I am happy for any author's that gets his/her work to be recognize as good enough to be paid for. Still it will be taking away one of the best things about fanfics and that is the ability to be viewed by all. Many bronies (myself included) are only able to view these works because they are free, which is why the brony fandom was able to grow. Because it was able to spread all the love, joy, laughter, sadness, adventure, romance and many other feels for free. You start putting a price on all of that and you leave behind a bunch of sad bronies.

I just wanted to drop a link to author John Scalzi's excellent article on this subject. In short, Amazon gets the gold mine while the rights-holders get the shaft.

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